Connecting and Coping During the COVID Pandemic

Older adults who live alone or are not receiving visitors during this time are some of the most vulnerable in our community and in need of connection. At the same time, we are keenly aware of the distress that many family caregivers are also experiencing. While feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping, are not uncommon during this crisis, we encourage those affected to reach out for support and help. In addition to CJE, if you'd like to speak to someone and talk about your concerns, there are several options available.

If you have a mental health need during this time of significant societal stress, please know that we are here for you, and we can help. CJE Counseling Services: https://www.cje.net/counseling


It can be difficult to know when the ongoing stresses of the pandemic paired with the challenges of aging or caregiving accumulate to become cause for concern. How does one know if they need more help to improve their coping or should just try to “tough things out?”

In this video, watch a recording of our Insights on Aging virtual community education program presented by CJE Counseling Services on May 7, 2021. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of common mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and caregiver stress. This program provides self-help tips for maintaining good mental health, even during difficult times, and resources for those who would benefit from ongoing support and assistance.

Speakers:
Rosann Corcoran, LCSW
Manager, CJE Counseling Services

Sharon Dornberg-Lee, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, CJE Counseling Services

 

 

 

As more and more people are being vaccinated, the CDC relaxes some guidelines about getting together with others, and as the weather improves many are beginning—ever so slowly—to venture out to stores, social activities, or even planning travel. For many, if not most, this time of change is anxiety provoking. We read about new variants and “breakthrough cases” of COVID-19 among those who have been vaccinated that, while rare, make this a challenging time to navigate. What is safe? What isn’t? How does one handle it when their own conclusions about what they are and are not comfortable doing is at odds with family members or friends?

In this video, watch a recording of our Insights on Aging virtual community education program presented by CJE Counseling Services on June 11, 2021. This program will provide some tools and strategies to cope with reopening anxiety and how best to traverse these turbulent waters.

Speaker:
Sharon Dornberg-Lee, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, CJE Counseling Services

For more information about CJE Counseling Services, visit https://www.cje.net/counseling or call 773.508.1000.

To join one of our many live presentations, please visit https://www.cje.net/events.


In addition to CJE, if you'd like to speak to someone and talk about your concerns, there are several options available.

“Warm Lines”:

  • Friendship Line: 1.800.971-0016 (available 24/7)
  • JCFS Warmline: 1.855.275.5237 (Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Central time).
  • Illinois Warmline: 1.866.359.7953, then press 2, then 5. (operates Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time).  

Crisis lines:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 800.273.TALK (8255)
    • If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. Your call is confidential and free.
  • NAMI Chicago Helpline has mental health counselors available at 833.626.4244, operating Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
  • Illinois’ new Call4Calm service: residents can text TALK to 552-020 to connect to the state’s confidential, and free service to get connected to mental health services.

 

Other Resources for Managing Stress and Anxiety:

CJE SeniorLife’s Counseling team also recommends the following fact sheets and websites on managing stress and anxiety, as well as mental health considerations during this challenging time as published by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The following offer relaxation and meditation exercises you may find helpful to take a break during the day or to fall asleep at night:

For additional support and information, please contact CJE SeniorLine 773.508.1000.